Did you know that individuals between the ages of 25-30 are the most at risk for needing skin checks to detect melanoma? Brooke Raney Fitts of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Texarkana urges anyone, including those from the ages of 18 and up to have regular skin checks for preventative care of melanoma. “There is truly no set age designed for regular skin checks, however I have seen melanoma in 18 year olds and in 95 year olds. I would highlly recommend individuals between the ages of 25-30 to start getting regular skin checks, especially those with a significant family history of skin cancer” said Brooke.
“When we do skin checks we look for the ABCDE rule. Asymmetry: one half is unlike the other. Border: if it’s irregular or not circular anymore. Color: various shades of color. Diameter: Anything larger than a pencil eraser but they can be smaller. Evolving: has it changed over time? Was it small and gotten significantly bigger and or darker? Is it irritated or bleeding?” said Brooke.
“Many people don’t recognize the importance of skin checks.However, there are so many areas on the body that one can’t see. It’s important to come in and get checked even if there isn’t any concern. Those who have had more than 5 or more sunburns, spend time in tanning beds, or outdoors often are usually at the most risk of melanoma. When patients come in we try to make it as seamless as possible. We do a full head to toe skin exam which usually takes around five minutes, and if we find anything that seems concerning we can take a sample or remove it in the office with minimal pain. Within a few days we are able to determine if melanoma is present or not. We want to ensure that our patients are being proactive because melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. The earlier we can catch it, the better,” said Brooke.
While skin checks are extremely important, Brooke also advocates for safe sun practices. “Throughout the year and even in the winter months it’s important to consistently wear sunscreen because harmful ultraviolet rays are present year round. It’s also extremely helpful to always moisturize using gentle moisturizers to help keep skin healthy,” said Brooke.
So who is most at risk for melanoma? “Those who are at more risk for melanoma include those who are fair skinned. Typically those who have a history of sunburns, red hair, or who have lots of freckles are also most at risk. For those who have more than 50 moles or who have a family history of melanoma or a weakened immune system are the most at risk. It’s important though, regardless of background to get checked yearly to ensure healthy skin!” said Brooke.
U.S. Dermatology Partners Texarkana has been open just over six months and is located at 1726 Galleria Oaks Drive here in Texarkana, Texas. To schedule your appointment with Brooke dial 903-280-7748 or visit: https://pss.medfusion.net/?bookmarkurl=eyJ0eXBlIjoibGluayIsImxpbmtHdWlkIjoiM2E4YzhmMTYtMjc1OS00OWNlLTkyNmYtMDkwNjk1N2Q1Yjk5In0=#/